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Lainey Posted by Lainey at May 1, 2013 19:43:49 May 1, 2013 19:43:49

Hi Duana,
Like seemingly 90% of the expectant parents that write in for help I am all set with a name for one gender but not the other. I'm in need of inspiration for a classic girl's name to go with older sister Lucy Eleanor and a 3 syllable english last name beginning with B. My husband is all about Sophie and I'm all about finding something else that isn't quite so popular.

Other options I've put forward that my husband isn't so keen on (yet) are Diana, Frances, and Elizabeth (Eliza). Diana and Frances are family names that I love so would likely be considered as middle names in any circumstance. What else am I missing?? Jane, Catherine, and Anna are already in use by close family.
Oh, and literary references are definitely a bonus!

Many thanks,


Well what this says to me is Brit, Brit, Brit. That’s not a criticism. There are so many gorgeous names alive and well in Britain that don’t get any play here, so let’s begin.  

I stump for Harriet fairly often but you know it’s charming and ready to be revived.  Harriet and Lucy are estimable sisters in straw boaters they wear to their posh public (which is actually private) school. Or if not, is it Beatrice? I want to turn my nose up at this one sometimes because there are a lot of posh parents thinking they invented it, but who are we kidding, it’s fantastic. Beatrice Diana and her sister Lucy Eleanor. Anthea and Althea always strike me as very posh, and still very wearable.  How about Clementine? Or venerable Josephine? Or Phoebe, now and forever a rarer and more distinctive choice than the ubiquitous Chloe? 

Also, because I will never be done with Parenthood, have you thought about Nora?   It’s as short and compact and pretty as Lucy and would make a lovely pair.  


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